Sometimes those who wish to have a baby will need the help of a surrogate to make their dreams of having a family come true. A surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to carry a baby for the duration of a pregnancy and once the child is born, he or she will be legally adopted by the intended parents.
What is Gestational Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a process by which a woman agrees to become pregnant by embryo transfer for another individual or couple, commonly referred to as the intended parents. Surrogacy, particularly gestational surrogacy, is a form of IVF whereby the embryo is transferred to a woman other than the egg donor. The process of using a gestational surrogate to help build your family typically involves two-steps. Step one is the development of the embryos by IVF. Step two is the replacement of the embryos in the gestational carrier. Intended parents who choose surrogacy to create their families must carefully select a state in which they can legally make arrangements to become parents of the child according to adoption laws of the state in which the child is born.
At Chelsea Fertility of New York City, we specialize in providing customized advice, support and consultation to help intended parents find a gestational surrogate. We work with reputable partners in securing resources, all of which follow FDA and national ASRM standards and guidelines for gestational carriers. We can help you find and/or screen a surrogate mother, and provide legal consultation referrals to specialized reproductive health lawyers.
When Is a Surrogate Mother Recommended?
Surrogacy is recommended for two major groups:
- If a woman has a contraindication to carrying a pregnancy such as a medical condition, absence of the uterus, or a non-treatable pregnancy loss disorder then a gestational carrier for her embryo is indicated.
- If a man is single or in a same sex relationship, then a surrogate is required to build a family.
Advantages of Gestational Surrogacy vs. Traditional Surrogacy or Adoption
While gestational surrogacy is preferred, traditional surrogacy and adoption are alternatives for couples in need of assistance in starting a family. Traditional surrogacy is simply performing an insemination of a woman who agrees to conceive and this allows adoption of the newborn to the contracted parent(s) upon delivery of the newborn. However, this option is not legal in most states and allows for a considerable amount of legal uncertainty until the adoption is finalized, which can often take up to a year after birth. Adoption is always a viable and excellent option for any couple or individual, fertile or infertile, seeking to build a family.
IVF with a Gestational Carrier
Once the embryo is developed, it can be transferred to the gestational carrier immediately during a “live cycle” whereby the carrier is treated with hormones (estrogen and progesterone) to be synchronized with the production of the embryo. An alternative, that is logistically preferred, is to freeze the embryo once developed, and then thaw at the time when the gestational carrier is prepared appropriately with hormones. This allows for greater flexibility in scheduling for the gestational carrier.
Surrogacy for Gay Family Building
Every year, thousands of singles and gay and lesbian couples attempt fertility treatment in order to start a family. The physicians and staff of Chelsea Fertility NYC offer an open, welcoming environment for gay couples. We know that family building can be a long journey, but our compassionate specialists work hard to ensure a straightforward and rewarding experience. Chelsea Fertility NYC offers multiple third-party agents like surrogacy agencies, donor egg agencies and sperm banks, and reproductive attorneys. For gay couples interested in using gestational surrogacy to build their family, we invite you to visit our page on LGBTQ & Gay Parenting.
The fertility specialists at Chelsea Fertility of NYC are experienced in providing treatment options for international patients requiring surrogacy with gestational carriers. Our New York City-based program was designed with the difficulties of long distance management and travel in mind, and offers patients considerable flexibility to minimize the need for additional overseas travel. We specialize in local, national and international surrogacy matching gestational carriers for our patient, having worked professionally with surrogates from the Northeast and Western U.S., as well as Europe (Italy, England) and Asia (Singapore, Thailand).
Frequently Asked Questions about Gestational Surrogacy
Once the surrogate is selected, the process is the same as an IVF treatment; 1-2 months.
Medical fees would be similar to an IVF cycle and its associated embryo transfer to another female patient. The major expense will be the obstetrical fees for the gestational carrier and legal fees for the adoption proceedings.
Surrogacy is supported in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We encourage all our patients to get up to date legal information and to understand the adoption process which varies from state to state.
The state the actual birth occurs in is critical for legal proceedings.
Our professional team at Chelsea Fertility NYC is well experienced in making sure services are fully comprehensive and of the highest standard in the field. There is now a specialty of law called reproductive law.
There is usually a legal contract making the adoptive parent(s) responsible. This is variable and would normally include medical costs for obstetrical care and a fee for service.
ASRM guidelines recommend a pre-conceptual visit with a mental health specialist to consider impact of using donor gametes or surrogacy in family building as well as medical screening for infectious diseases.